Pay less with single-payer


To the editor:

(re: “Universal health care depends on just one senator we all know,” Sept. 28)

Your support of the New York Health Act shows leadership — and advocacy for the public good and fiscal efficiency.

Most Americans want cost-effective, universal, comprehensive health care. In Albany, it is blocked by those who depend on campaign contributions from Big Pharma and Big Insurance, or by those aligned with D.C. Republicans, who also look for these contributions, and who regard health care as a luxury too expensive for the poor or the sick.

The Riverdale Press is courageous in calling on Sen. Jeffrey Klein, who has co-sponsored the bill, to champion it among the Republicans with whom he caucuses. Sen. Klein has argued his caucusing with Republicans gets needed legislation passed. Well, now he can show us he was both sincere and insightful.

Sen. Klein, please work your influence. Sen. Kemp Hannon, who chairs the health committee, will surely respond to you.

Why should Riverdale Press readers care? Well, New York Health would not only protect all New Yorkers from the ravages of “repeal and replace,” but also against the alarming cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act now happening through executive action and cabinet-level decree.

The economics of New York Health are fully detailed. The savings from a taxpayer-supported single-payer system are more than enough to pay for health care for everyone. Further, by negotiating volume discounts for drugs and medical devices, the way the VA and other developed countries do, New York can extend coverage for everyone to include no cost-sharing (no premiums, co-pays or deductibles), plus provide dental, optical, mental health and substance abuse therapy.

And still, spend less than we’re spending now.

For patients, we see whatever doctors we see now, or choose new ones. Doctors will work as they do now, for themselves or hospitals or clinics, but bill New York Health, not dozens of insurers. Like Medicare, New York Health is financed by a progressive tax based on income. All except the very wealthiest New Yorkers will pay less than we are paying now.

Betsey Knapp

Betsey Knapp